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The Fort

Recently I found myself with no other alternative but to engage the deep recesses of my mind. There were actual cobwebs in there.  I needed to have a very serious meeting.

As Chairman of the said meeting, I began by requesting the members to introduce themselves. The introduction began as follows:

  • First up was the ever perky Poker Face. Always perfect, always with the same “botox-ed” look;
  • Second was the slender and surprisingly deep  Ever Active-Brain.  She chose to hyphenate her name instead of just taking her husband’s, and;
  • Third was the dark and mysterious Corner of My Mind. She seemed silent as she sat there, her head down most of the time. She eventually spoke up towards the end of the meeting.

Poker Face complained of being tired. She said that she had been holding  The Fort down for the last five years and she needed a break.  She whined about the continuous requirement to hold her head high and smile. It was becoming too much. She had started to crave shouting out unspeakable words to some people and squint her eyes just enough to instigate their spontaneous combustion.

Ever Active-Brain also chimed in. Grumbling about being tired, of almost suffocating within The Fort. She’d actually prefer to be sipping some cold margaritas on a very white beach. She insisted that her instrument was overworked and was giving more than it was actually receiving.

Corner of My Mind, on the other hand, kept silent. She watched and listened to the bickering two as they went back and forth on which of them deserved the white beach more than the other.

I obviously had to step in and call the meeting to order and asked, “Corner of My Mind, mbona umetulia hivyo? Don’t you have something to say?”

**cold stare**

“Well”, I said, “someone needs an attitude adjustment” (*rolls eyes*). Just as I was about to award the white beach escape to one of the others, she stood up and started speaking:

“One can always tell a dumpsite from a mile away, can’t they? One could withstand the pungent smell for a little while and soon after it becomes sore – for both the eyes and the nose. The three of you have been treating me like a dumpsite, with your fakeness and your constant activity and your business of people-pleasing. I have started to stink. All of your weakness is manifesting itself through me, I have become quiet and withdrawn, yet you pay no attention.

“Hasn’t the stench begun to affect you? Or are you simply choosing to ignore the fact that you have been piling all of your drama, your conflicts, your emotions and procrastinating on me to find the perfect time to deal with it? You have been hanging out with your friends, you know, the ones in see-through garb with a dash of print here and there accompanied by their cheap plastic compadres. They make you feel good and drive you to deep and dreamless sleep. Your ambitions are no longer clear, your sense of purpose seems to have been thrown down a bottomless abyss.

“I have been taking it in, but I feel that I have no more capacity to continue handling this nonsense.”

Poker Face, Ever-Active Brain and I remained silent like small children receiving a lecture from their mother just before a lethal lashing.

” You are being emotional”, began Poker Face, crossing her arms on her chest. ” All of us are doing our jobs with minimal grumbling and so should you.”

Ever-Active Brain and I nodded slowly in agreement. She said, ” We are appreciative of all the crap you take, but that is your job. All of us combined are designed to be a force to be reckoned with, and we cannot function without you, Corner. So just suck it up like the rest of us and quit whining.”

The tension in the room could be cut with a knife. Corner of My Mind, red as an over-ripe beetroot, left with a firm bang on the door and I could have sworn I felt a cold breeze sweeping through the room.

“No white beaches,” I said firmly while closing the minute book and rising. “We shall continue this discussion once things settle down, meanwhile, keep at it ladies, you are doing a good job.”


It is said that anger is the hungry wolf inside you that you feed, and eventually, it feeds on you. Poker Face and Ever-Active Brain caught a serious bug a week following the meeting. They were unable to function and my own strength was dwindling slowly. I looked around desperately for Corner of My Mind and eventually found her lying in bed, having not fed for an entire week and reeking of what seemed to be body odour and the unpleasant scents of our see-through friends.

It took manual intervention from third parties to remove the stench from Corner of My Mind. The rest of us barely had any strength, but soon enough we began to feel better. Having learned our lesson, we treated her better, provided her with attention and allowed her to be free to express her thoughts and wishes.

Things haven’t been easy. However, in our next meeting, the first agenda is to find out how we got to that particular point. All in all, we have mutually agreed in our very active Whatsapp group that we cannot function without each other and it is our primary responsibility to ensure that all of us are in a stable space, physically and most importantly, mentally.

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